Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Re-imagine Airlines

I'm flying high and couldn't be more confident about the future.— Freddy Laker

For global airline industry, last decade maybe the “lost decade”, suffered from both nature and human disasters, flying fuel and great recession, however, airline as the most challenging and charming industry in the world, stand on its feet with discipline, stabilized and start growing again via consolidation, innovation and hard-working, it’s at infection point to brainstorm more enchanting ideas, to re-imagine airlines and rejuvenate this legacy industry.

Imagine the airline like:

1. Full-Mobile House in the Sky
Today’s digital technologies add the new pair of wings for airline to grow, to delight customer through self-service, flight entertainment, and personalized solutions.
  • Always Connect-On Customers
Smart clients today expect to continuing working or entertaining on board, the business travelers need speed internet connections, track-your-flight features, proactive notification services, and first-rate loyalty programs; leisure travelers will delight with social media connection, tailored entertainment services, all the activities the family enjoy at home, they also expect to have the similar experience at plane.

  • Real-Time Travel Experience
Even beyond, the always connect-on customers expect their mobile with faster response time and real-time travel information & experience, such as: location based services: online baggage tracking, movement tracking, push notification, voice recognition

  • Everyday Hero
We have to make you think it's an important seat - because you're in it.

Think every journey is special, just like big full house family, most of airlines are a bit crowd,  to lift up the travel spirit, airline staff need present the friendly & humorous attitude , optimized service; the diversified passengers have the chance to stay at the same journey, need support each other to make either the short trip or long journey more fun and impressive, window seat taker has the view, the isle customer has the convenience to exit, so the middle-seat customer makes some sacrifice, become our everyday hero.

2. World Window through the Cloud
The globe will be linked by flight and the nations so knit together that they will grow to be next-door neighbors. . . . What railways have done for nations, airlines will do for the world.
— Claude Grahame-White, 1914

 If  airport is  the window of the city, then airline is just like the window of the world,  Smart cities, better world, the widow-seat passenger will tell you why and how to modernize our cities and change our world via the overview and foresight of the man-made scenes.

Airlines are also economy engine and barometers, the aviation ecosystems influence worldwide activities significantly, from global trading to business activities, from job creation to travel attraction and from sustainability to new energy development. Aviation industry is one of infrastructural pillars in modern society. 

3. The Retailer with the Wings
There always has been a mystique and a romance about aviation, but in terms of the principles involved of satisfying your customer there's no difference between selling airlines seats and chocolate bars.

Airline is also one of the industries with least return on investment due to the large capital expenditure and high cost, many famous quotes by great investors and strategists well articulated how difficult for airline to make money, however, airline, as one of our strong economy pillars, the critical retailers with the wings, deserve to make some profit.

Airlines make some new innovations in recent years, they build up the ancillary revenue stream to keep industry flow and reimburse the high fuel cost, in order to keep the sustainable growth for the long term, airline need:

  • Keep building up the innovation capability to drive more  new revenue and enhance customer loyalty via the latest digital technology such as mobile and social;
  • Optimize the distribution channel and supply chain, with focal point at core business and customer services
  • Consolidate, rationalize, integrate, modernize and optimize IT infrastructure and applications.
  • To engage the employees, with passion, trust, and next generation of working environment and  talent management.
Yes, to revitalize the airline businesses is strategic imperative and long term journey, but it worth the effort: to transform it from national embrassment into national pride, to recover its image as
 the Proud Bird with the Golden Tail

I was engaged in what I believe to be the most thrilling industry in the world—aviation. My heart still leaps when I see a tiny two-seater plane soaring gracefully through the sky. Our great airlines awe me. Yet I know they were not produced in a day or a decade.
 William A. "Pat" Patterson, CEO United Airlines

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Modern EA’s Value Propositions

 EA  should play the bridge role between business and technology, the goal is to share the knowledge and recognize the optimization point.

In the blog:
 http://futureofcio.blogspot.com/2011/07/re-imagine-enterprise-architecture-re.html, we pointed out some 20th century EA’s crucial problems such as lack of clear definition, lack of prioritization and lower level of maturity; ivory tower approach, fragmentation, and over-complexity. After being through a variety of valuable forums and case study, we conclude EA needs to be revitalized to reflect the new identity and become the competitive asset at the digital era in 21st century, to deliver the true values, embrace the latest digital technology trends such as social/mobile/cloud, and lead the business into more radical digital transformation. The modern EA could deliver the following value propositions and beyond:

1. Strategy Communication Tool

Strategy Architecture blueprint the vision, mission, the goal, identify the enterprise capabilities and unique value chain, EA needs to be more dynamic to define both the long term vision and short term change facing in the organization. More importantly, EA needs to cultivate loyal internal users such as CXO, to use EA as a true communication tool, either for an elevator speech or the board level presentation.

2. Orchestrate the Change Management

The social enterprise is the new theme in the digital era: Modern enterprises take a hybrid approach, to integrate traditional centralized pyramid shape structure and decentralized lattice style through enterprise social platform, focus on communication, open leadership, and innovation. An effective EA effort will help:

 -Identify the talent needed in order to achieve its strategic objectives, also the talent needs to be developed and maintained on an ongoing basis.

-Become part of the organization’s operating model, assess organizational awareness and competencies periodically, to facilitate knowledge sharing, to drive change management and cultural influence.

3. Compass to Transformation

The subset of EA, such as IT Architecture should become the framework for CIO to build up the IT roadmap, focus on business transformation, to digitize and simplify the end-to-end process, not IT details, keep simple and standardized, but also recognize the technology trend and well-describe how IT and the latest technology could drive business value: not only think about today, but also selectively forget yesterday, and forward-looking tomorrow.

·  Rapid, effective and positive response to business change
·  Orchestrate process and knowledge management for better future-state planning
·  Democratize and unify business and technology decision-maker scenario

4. Connect Optimization Point from Project to Organization

EA still should play the bridge role between business and technology, the goal is to share the knowledge and recognize the optimization point, and expand the process optimization from project to organization base:
- Improve business agility via consolidation, rationalization, modernization, reusability, simplification, and optimization
-Drive value and cost-efficiency via the current platform and optimized process
-Increase economies of scale through standards.

5. Business Governance

As we indefatigably debated, for those industry leaders or laggards, is EA the cause or effect, part of problems or solutions?EA is planning, governance, and innovation function that enables the organization to progress toward its vision of future states, governance should play a critical role in  EA, however,  for the majority of the organization, EA governance is just too theoretic and intangible to make it a reality, in more detail, EA governance will:

·        Define and Manage Architecture Risks & Risk Control
·        Decision Making Governance
·        Works with a program and project Governance context to  ensure the realization of EA Vision and Enterprise Solution
·        Review and Audit Solutions

6. EA Benchmarking

From an ROI perspective, EA benchmarking could have an immediate impact by setting up the performance report card and track EA best practice:
·  Set up an EA performance measurement program to link to overall performance management
·   Track EA Program Maturity and Perceptions
·    EA Best Practice ROI: such as EA team can provide the business with cost comparisons of different project approaches
·    Forecast the impact of cost avoidance

Thinking without Border

Neighborhood border book store permanently closed last week, feel a bit empty and sad to face the world without boarder, since we spent significant spare time  to read and entertain there, overall, Border is friendly,  professional and specialized book retailer, however, the rapidly changing digital era is the new brutal reality, even the decent business may not survive if missing to catch the technological wave or not delight customer either via the unique products or competitive cost point, here are some strategy thinking without border:

Porter’s Five Forces Strategy

Border vs. Amazon: Amazon is one of the biggest threats of new entrants for Border, also the biggest competitive rivalry, it’s emerging with the first wave of e-commerce and digital technology, by taking advantage of IT more efficiently and effectively, Amazon grow and expand to the new category more aggressively, streamline the supply chain more seamlessly, which means more bargaining power of suppliers, they build up the powerful online partner platform, which also means more bargaining power of suppliers, and e-books become more intimidate threat of substitute the traditional paper book,  from all five forces above, Border lost ground gradually, and Border is not the only victim, Circuit City was at the same :How the Mighty Fall category, brick-and -Mortar business can not compete effectively with emerging e-commerce business.

Good vs. Great: Good business like Border may not survive until you become great. From Mr. Jim Collin’s Good to Great Framework:
  • Confront the Brutal Facts: Retain unwavering faith that you can prevail in the end, regardless of difficulties and at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal fact of current reality
  • The Hedgehog Concept: Greatness comes about by a series of good decisions consistent with a simple and coherent concept-The Hedgehog concept: reflects understanding three circles: what you can be the best in the world at, what you are deeply passionate about and what best drives your economic or resource engine.
  • The Flywheel:  In building greatness, there is no single defining moment, no grand program, on one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment, Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel in one direction, building momentum until a point of breakthrough and beyond.
  • Clock Building, not time telling: Leaders in great organizations build catalytic mechanism to stimulate progress, they have relentless drive for change and progress-a creative compulsion that often manifest in BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), great organizations keep clear the difference between their core values (which never change such as how to delight customer) and operating strategies and cultural practices (which endlessly adapt to a changing world)

Other Free Thinking without Border:

Humanity without Borders:

Confucian Theory

Confucius the Confucian theory of humanity exemplifies the golden rule, both love and respect, treat others as you want to be treated.

Greek Theory

Plato and Aristotle  considered "courage, justice, temperance" and "generosity, wit, friendliness, truthfulness, magnificence, and greatness of soul" to be the sole virtues, humanity, respectively.

Judeo-Christian Theory

Humanity was so important in some positivist Christian cultures that it was to be capitalized like God.Kindness, altruism and love are all mentioned in the bible. Proverbs 19:22 "states the desire of a man is his kindness.  
Education without Borders        
 The art, the science are border-less, education is one of the driving force in the transformation and development of individuals and  communities, it’s instrumental in the development of a fair, non discriminatory society which offers opportunities to all people
Life without borders could symbolize the better world.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

CIO’s Analytics Roadmap

The maturity of the organization’s Analytics methods, tools and competencies is based on exploring the quality data, asking the effective question, exploring the end-to-end business process, building the practical analytics model, measure the KPIs.

The exponential grown of data (both structured and unstructured data) in digital era brings both significant opportunities and risks for contemporary enterprise.  Analytics, as one of the most critical components of business capability becomes strategic imperative for business to gain competitive edge and distinctive capability in 21st century.

 What is analytics? Metaphorically, data is like tea leaf, and analytics is like reading those tea leaf to locate the pattern, capture the insight and foresight, methodologically, by analytics, we mean the extensive use of data, statistics and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions, to help the organization well-prepare for the future.  

However, one of the prestigious consulting company made a survey of 600 executives, 8 out of 10 companies have not achieved their goals in analytics. And only 1 out of 12 respondents expressed satisfaction with the return on their investments.

How does modern CIO recognize, prioritize the analytics projects, create the solid analytics roadmap and cultivate the analytics culture to achieve the best result?

 1.    Ten Essential Business Analytics

(1)   Web Analytics: in digital era, every business has web presence, the goals of web analytics include optimized ROI, customer satisfaction, brand enhancement, optimized operational cost, improved business process flow, increasing sales & marketing lead, all stakeholders such as business, IT application development, performance team need work closely to do systemic analytics such as user life cycle analytics or application infrastructure & performance analytics. A strategic analytics plan and measurement is created to evaluate the achievement of the organizations goals.

(2)   HR Analytics: today's analytics tools help define the link between “people practices” and performance more effectively,  talent analytics culture will fertilize the talent seed, let people grow with organization’s long term strategy, and IT need become HR’s strategic partner, help develop the talent management platform and performance tools which are base on the data merit and measurable performance, tangible influence, rather than political behavior, to retain high performance talent.

(3)   Supply Chain Analytics: Effective and efficient supply chains involve constant change and a fluid transfer of information and materials from one stage to the next. To optimize process and to generate maximum efficiencies, the companies need analytics that can provide insight across the entire chain, that can respond to changes, rationalize suppliers, leverage the spending, recognize the bottlenecks, optimize the logistics and execute cost analysis.

(4)   Predictive Analytics: it’s the key to become customer-centric, forecast might tell you total quantity of items you may sell, predictive analytics will tell you who are your most profitable customers, which customers might no longer order from you in the future., etc.  Predictive analytics help develop customer-tailored solution base on their needs, preferred channel, current situation, and the point of journey. It helps organization to gain the competitive edge and beat competition through customer behavior prediction.

(5)   Decision Making Analytics: In today’s digitized global era, decision making has never been more complex and consequential, no matter it’s strategic decision made by executive, operational decision made by mid level manager or tactical decision made by front-liner staffs, intuition and gut-feeling is no sufficient, the biggest challenge and opportunity is how to better-utilize the information on decision-making to carry out the strategy faster and better than competition, the modern decision management may include: business rule, BPM, data management, predictive analytics,  event process., etc.

(6)   Risk Analytics: Technology and process strategies need focus on building sustainable growth, IT need deliver more value while staying at or under budget, at the same time, IT must mitigate the risks associated with information security, increased regulations and performance & risk management coordination. IT also need take leadership to breakup the data silo, to build up the holistic risk analytics and governance framework .

(7)   Big Data Analytics: Companies are increasingly analyzing unstructured data, including voice, text and video, big data also become the metaphor of the large volume of data and information, the characteristic of big data are: volume, velocity, variety, and complexity. Big data bring up both big opportunities and great risk for organizations, via analyzing the big data, company can predict the future trend, listen to customers’ voice and optimize the products and service, on the flip side, security, privacy, data loss protection, data storage, data life cycle management., etc, all data related issues become unprecedented challenges facing in modern organization today. 

(8)   Contact Center Analytics: the next generation of contact center analytics will streamline the call flow, provides customer insight within and beyond call center forecast, also facilitate the trend analytics, and orchestrate the social enterprise through more integrated platform with all necessary blocks such as social CRM, analytics tools, unified communication, call center., etc, and deliver the customer-centric solution,

(9)   Energy Analytics: Green journey for many organization not only means sustainability, but also lead to better profitability, the energy analytics scenario includes to track all parameters relevant to energy, cost and carbon footprints in real-time and analyze these at multiple resolutions to provide the valuable insight.. It’s pre-requisite to ensure data quality and accuracy, deliver insight and enable energy related decision-making to choose the right information., and capture a real-time, fine-grained view of energy, cost and carbon footprints.

(10) Process Analytics: Strategic planning, budgeting, planning and forecasting., etc are process intensive, workflow driven, with top-down, bottom-up and middle-out model,  IT engages in the strategic planning process and work with business to deliver the effective analytics solutions. IT will also orchestrate more corporate centric, holistic B&PF to breakdown the divisional based silo planning, to make it part of BI , analytics and performance management strategy

2. Analytics Roadmap

Analytical driven business is the organization that uses analytics extensively and systematically to outthink and out execute the competition. Statistically, high-performance business has five times opportunities to use analytics as distinctive capability.

Developing an analytics roadmap with systematic process for prioritizing and framing the high analytics capabilities to create measurable value and outcome, without roadmap, the organization either underestimate the effort, ignore the pitfalls or simply solve the short-term issues only.

(1)   Analytics Structure & Change Management
·        Centralized Analytics Structure: Modern IT is transforming from the infrastructure cost center into business enabler and strategic partner, IT can take leadership to framework the centralized analytics team, since data and data management is essential to analytics.
·        Decentralized Analytics Structure: Data architects, analysts distribute cross the business functions, the more dynamic CoE-center of excellence is facilitated to share the progress and best practices.
(2)   Analytic Business Cases
·        Quick Win: Communicate and initiate the business case base on business priorities buy-in & support from shareholders to deliver near-term result
·        Strategic Project: Capture the hinder-sight, insight and foresight, enable the business to solve problems timely and approach new market promptly.
·        Expansion: Cross-functional, multiple analytic disciplines are required to solve the wide variety of problems an organization faces, while enabling the greatest analytic bandwidth.
·        Transformation: Organizational change and analytics capability
expand effort cross-functional track, evaluate and measure the result, the analytics culture has been nurtured, the key processes have been optimized, the organization has been transformed into agile, high-performance business.
      (3) Analytics Tips

·        Out-of-the-box analytics with a heavy focus on results
·        Increased demand by users and continued data model development analytics
·        Make it stick: Integrate the analytics practitioners into everyday business rhythms, also commit the measurement
·        Agile Analytics: A series of user-driven deliverables, with frequent outputs and check-in

    (4) Analytics KPIs & Maturity
The path to analytic maturity has three key areas — leadership, breaking down silos, and developing and keeping talent — are fundamental to fostering an analytics culture.

The maturity of the organization’s Analytics methods, tools and competencies is based on exploring the quality data, asking the effective question, exploring the end-to-end business process, building the practical analytics model, measure the KPIs.

Moon Festival Thought: Humanity and Humility

The sunset clouds are gathered far away, it's clear and cold,
The Milky Way is silent, I turn to the jade plate.
The goodness of this life and of this night will not last for long,
Next year where will I watch the bright moon
-Ancient Orient Poem

Time is flying, another Moon Festival, compared to many other happy-theme holiday occasions, such as Spring festival, moon Festival brings us some deep thought, paradoxical feelings, and numerous moon-related poems also reflect the theme of humanity & humility.

What can we reflect from this year’s Full Moon day:

  • 9.11 Ten-Year Memorial 
The only real nation is humanity - Paul Farmer

The tragic event happened a decade ago still caused many pains and sorrows, for many families lost the loved ones, tonight’s full moon may never truly wax, always wane through their emotions, but hope the clean, bright moon could comfort their heart, sooth the heavy memories.

Many touching articles published at internet also remind us of the humanity and leadership we could learn from 9.11. May sunshine and moonlight guide us out of the dark and the lost decade, may the new balance of Yin &Yang leadership energize us all into the brighter future.
  • Human’s Moon Journey 
 If we can not end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. 
J.F. Kennedy.

President J.F. Kennedy’s inaugural address and “Go To Moon” speech lifted the America dream to explore the space and beyond.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These famous words were uttered by Neil Armstrong as he made history as the first man to walk on the moon in 1969.

A Couple of Great Quotes about Moon, Humanity & Humility 
  • See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls. 
  • Most people are unable to write because they are unable to think, and they are unable to think because they congenitally lack the equipment to do so, just as they congenitally lack the equipment to fly over the moon. 
  • To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.  Martha Nussbaum 
  • My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.  Bishop Desmond Tutu